Turtle Beach in Belitung 

A chance meeting with Glenn who runs the turtle sanctuary and conservation centre on Pulau Kepayang, close to the anchorage off Tanjung Kelayang on Belitung, led to an invitation to visit the sanctuary. 

Glenn and me at the turtle sanctuary

Glenn, who was born and raised in Belitung and is half Dutch, half Indonesian by birth, speaks excellent English and gave us a great introduction to the work he and others have contributed to establishing this excellent initiative. 

Glenn explaining about the dangers for young turtles in the wild

This and other conservation projects such as coral planting, have been implemented by a local NGO (Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung) to protect the outstanding natural environment of Belitung and to raise the awareness of local people on its importance. 

Day-old hatchlings

At the Kepayang Conservation Centre a turtle sanctuary has an egg hatchery and an array of tanks where the turtles are transferred to once they hatch. They stay in the tanks until they are strong enough to face life in their own in the sea. 

This is the turtle nursery

When we were there we were able to see scores of brand new hatchlings in one of the tanks and in others, there were much livelier, larger and more active turtles that had been hatched for around six weeks. 

These turtles were a couple of months old and were a lot more active than their day-old counterparts

Glenn told us that by allowing them to grow and become strong in the tanks increases the turtle’s chances of survival from around ten per cent to approximately eighty per cent. 

The Conservation Centre

When we told him that we had seen turtle eggs on sale in the market, Glenn said that the Conservation Center is unable to enforce a ban on egg collection but through education the hope is for this practice to disappear before long. In the meantime, the work of the Centre is ensuring the increase in turtle population in Belitung. 

Turtle eggs on sale at Belitung market

The Conservation Centre depends solely on donations for its survival so if you happen to be in Belitung drop in and if you can like what you see, make a donation. 

The Yantara’s, Glenn and me

After our visit we took the dinghy to explore the beautiful white sand beach on Belitung that we could see from our anchorage where a rather elegant balconied building hid behind palm trees and granite rocks. 

Batu Berlayar (Sailing Rock) Island
This building looks like a hotel but was completely empty

View of the house from the dinghy

The building appeared to be closed up as were the small beach bungalows nearby so we were free to enjoy the glorious surroundings completely on our own. 

These look like a great place to stay but there didn’t appear to be any visitors

We had this gorgeous beach to ourselves

No need for sharing on this beach

Such a gorgeous (and deserted) beach

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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